By Detroit Fighting Words Staff
Since May 29, thousands of people in Detroit and surrounding suburbs have held demonstrations in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and the overall struggle against racism.
Detroit officials responded to activists by imposing an unjustified curfew in order to break up marches with rubber bullets, pepper spray and concussion grenades. Over 400 people were arrested in the first week of demonstrations.
Since these repressive tactics by police could not end the protests, the City administration suspended enforcement of the curfew. Twenty-three demands, proposed by protestors and adopted at mass rallies, have been put forward to corporate-imposed Mayor Mike Duggan calling for the defunding of police and the allocation of more resources for education and housing.
There have been car caravans, the picketing of police in Sterling Heights, Warren and Harper Woods where racist incidents and even deaths have occured in recent weeks. Efforts by the corporate media and the Duggan administration to slander the protesters as “outside agitators” have failed.
Many veteran activists are joining and supporting the youth-led actions. The Moratorium NOW! Coalition has participated in the marches and rallies distributing literature and hoisting its banner championing the struggle for Black Liberation.
A tribunal to charge police for their brutal response to the demonstrations was held on June 20 at Hart Plaza on the Detroit River. Hundreds participated prompting an attempted face saving statement from police chief James Craig and Duggan. A march and rally was also held in downtown Detroit for “Black Disabled Lives Matter.”
Undoubtedly, the City of Detroit will be the subject of legal actions by those victimized by the police violence. Even members of the corporate media were hit by rubber bullets and arrested by police.